oral ligature being used

An Overview of the Three Main Kinds of Ligatures

In case you wish to have your teeth straightened, you should opt for braces. There are a variety of braces, and all serve the same purpose. This means that your choice of braces is mainly dependent on your budget and preference.

As an orthodontist in South Jordan will tell you, braces are made up of different parts. One of the most significant parts of your braces are the ligatures. The primary role of the ligatures is to maintain the archwire in the slot on the bracket. They also serve the purpose of directing your teeth in a specific direction. The direction the ligature pulls your teeth depends on the manner it is tied to the tooth and the kind of ligature used. That said, read on to learn about the three kinds of ligatures used by orthodontists and the things to keep in mind about elastic ligatures:

1. Single Elastic Ligatures

These are available in myriads of colors. However, their size is uniform. The orthodontist has to change the single elastic ligatures in every appointment because they lose strength over time. For the ligatures to have varying degrees of adjustment to your teeth structure, the orthodontists apply a varying degree of force as they tie the elastic to the tooth.

2. Connected Elastic Ligatures

Also referred to as C-chain or power chain ligatures, connected elastic ligatures come in a variety of strength and colors. Their role in teeth alignment is to close gaps between teeth or move a group of teeth together in one direction. For them to be effective, they are also changed in each appointment.

Dentist doing a dental treatment

3. Stainless Steel Wire Ligatures

Their role is similar to that of elastic ligatures. The only advantage that stainless steel wire ligatures have over their elastic counterparts is that they exert more force between the tooth and the bracket. When the orthodontist straightens a twisted or turned tooth, the archwire must remain secure in the bracket’s slot. This is precisely what makes wire ligatures a preferred choice for many orthodontists as they help keep the metal archwire secure.

Elastic ligatures can only have the desired effect if they are worn continuously. The only time they should spend away from your teeth is when you are brushing your teeth or eating. It is of importance to note that the first few days when you wear elastic ligatures, you will experience some mild soreness. This should be treated as normal, and you should expect the soreness to wear out after a few days. Lastly, you should not self-treat by doubling up the elastic, thinking that you will be speeding up the process.

As a means of caution, always carry extra elastic whenever you travel. Since the probability of the elastic to break is high, having extra elastic with you will always have you ready for such occurrences. All expert orthodontists will also tell you to always properly clean your hands before taking out or putting on elastic. Make sure that you get the advice of your orthodontist before doing anything on your own.

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